Donald, Alastair and Gwen Webber, eds. A Clockwork Jerusalem: The British Pavilion, 14th International Exhibition, La Biennale de Venezia 2014 curated by FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians. London: The Vinyl Factory, 2014.
If you are a consistent reader of New Books at APL, you might rememer that I am strangely attracted to publications coming out of the Venice Biennial, but then how could you not be curious about a title like A Clockwork Jerusalem? It is both the title for the British Pavilion and its associated publication. Unlike the previous publications highlighted in the blog, this work does not focus on the architecture of the pavilion itself. Wouter Vanstiphout explains in an interview, “We chose not make a show that would consist entirely of architecture but to focus on ideas that shaped British architecture…and the imagination that more or less fed into British Modernism.”
Three essays- “A Clockwork Jerusalem” by Sam Jacob, “Experiments in Freedom” by Wouter Vanstiphout, and “Four Transformations of British Modernism” by Owen Haterley- proceed “A Clockwork Jerusalem Illustrated.” This latter half of the work explores the themes and ideas associated with British Modernism through both architecture and culture- Utopia of Ruins, Historic Futurism, Paleo Motorik, Electric Pastoral, Concrete Picturesque, History’s Return, and The People: Where will They Go?
Sam Jacob concludes in his essay:
A Clockwork Jerusalem argues for architecture and planning as part of a national project, part of a wider culture spanning politics and pop culture, summoning new visions of how we might live. The landscape of Britain is the ground on which we must continue to construct our national narrative. Through architecture as a joined-up part of political, economic and social ambition, we too can build our own Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land. (Jacob, 14)
British Council. British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014: A Clockwork Jerusalem. Accessed September 30, 2015. http://design.britishcouncil.org/venice-biennale/venice-biennale-2014/.
Bueb, Charles. Ronchamp: Le Corbusier. [Bruxelles]: Facteur humain, 2015.
After a brief introduction to Charles Bueb, a photographic essay follows of photographs taken of Ronchamp by Bueb between 1953-1963. The black and white photographs are quite stunning of the chapel. Additionally, Bueb documented the construction of, visitors to, and interesting perspectives and scales of Notre Dame du Haut. The work also contains three essays by Claude Parent, David Liaudet, and Jean-François Mathey, respectively.